Before this becomes a rant against the USPS and its recent rulings, it’s important to recognize that something needs to change with the agency. A report from the Federal Office of General Accountability showed that the USPS lost $ 69 billion over an 11-year period, including losses of $ 3.9 billion in 2018, $ 8.9 billion in 2019, and $ 9.2 billion in 2020.
Obviously, no business can continue to operate at a loss and must make changes to accommodate declining revenues if it is to exist in the future.
So, yes, the USPS is right to take drastic action as it tries to regain its creditworthiness, even though it is unlikely to meet that basic business goal.
But its most recent changes are causing a wave of outrage. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy ordered a slowdown in mail delivery and an increase in postal rates. Notably, the changes will have an effect on first class mail, including things like bills and birthday cards. For the past several decades, Americans could reasonably expect their first class mail to arrive within one to three days. It can now take up to five days.
The reason: more trucks will be used and fewer planes will be flown, and trucks are cheaper to operate.
Plus, rates are going up – a few cents earlier this month on stamps and up to $ 1 on some packages.
The good news is that the USPS has said more than half of first class mail will still be delivered on time. Yet some predict problems.
US Representative Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., Is among them. She is a 30-year USPS veteran and has “serious doubts” that the changes will allow the agency to provide reliable service. Worse yet, she believes the changes will hit those most in need of a good postal service the hardest.
“Seniors, small business owners and families across the country rely on the postal service for the rapid delivery of life-saving medicines, important documents and parcels. ”
For rural residents, the problem could be compounded.
It’s hard to fault the USPS for making any notable changes, as it is charged with fixing its colossal financial woes. The USPS says that approximately 60% of first class mail and over 90% of periodicals will not be affected by the change, and also that the standards for first class mail in a local area will continue to be two days. . And we would rather see potentially slower delivery and, yes, even rate changes as long as Saturday delivery is not interrupted.
However, rather than sudden and permanent changes, it would have been better to check the strategy for a short time before diving head first without knowing the full effect these decisions will have on clients, especially the elderly and those who are live in rural America.
This alternative view is the opinion of the editorial board of our sister publication, the Grand Forks Herald.